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Aerial crews fight the Spring Creek fire, burning south of Parachute. The fire was burning 3,000 acres as of Tuesday morning. (Photo provided by the White River National Forest)

UPDATE: Fire crews contained the Spring Creek fire, burning 2,859 acres, by 20%, as of Wednesday. Read our latest story here.

A wildfire in western Colorado exploded overnight and was burning more than 3,000 acres south of Parachute as of Tuesday morning.

More than 300 firefighters worked to extinguish the Spring Creek fire by ground and air ahead of increasing winds and dry conditions, a spokesman for the White River National Forest said. 

The fire sparked over the weekend and quickly spread across private land in Garfield County before entering the White River National Forest, according to a map posted by the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit. 

More fire crews are expected to arrive Tuesday to fight the fire, the U.S. Forest Service said. The National Weather Service Office in Grand Junction issued a red flag warning ahead of forecasted wind gusts up to 50 mph and temperatures up to 100 mph in parts of western Colorado that could fuel rapid fire growth. 

No evacuations have been ordered, but officials urged residents in the area to sign up to receive emergency notifications at Smoke from the fire could reduce air quality in parts of Garfield and Mesa counties, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment warned.

The cause of the fire is unknown.


Olivia Prentzel is a general assignment writer based in Colorado Springs for The Colorado Sun, covering breaking news, wildfires and all things interesting impacting Coloradans. Before joining The Sun, Olivia covered criminal justice for The Colorado Springs Gazette. She’s also worked at newspapers in New Orleans and New Jersey, where she grew up. After graduating college, she lived in a tiny, rural town in southern Madagascar for three years as a Peace Corps volunteer. When not writing, Olivia enjoys backpacking and climbing Colorado’s tallest peaks.